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Bottled Water Making A Comeback?

By Jenn (TinyChoices.com) | December 28, 2011

Something strange has happened in the past few weeks, and it’s so odd that it’s made me take notice.  While dining in restaurants (which, as you know, I do an awful lot) and asking for water to drink, I’m brought a bottle of water instead of a glass of tap water.  Which is very troubling.

For the past few years it seemed like many restaurants were more amenable to serving customers tap water, even though they make a huge markup on selling bottled water.  With all of the environmental pressure against the bottled stuff, I’d noticed that there was less of a hassle getting a plain ol’ glass of water, which I really appreciated.

But now it seems like things may be shifting back to bottled, and I’m wondering why.  My first thought is that since more businesses are struggling to stay afloat in this economy, eateries are trying to make extra dollars any way they can– and refusing to serve tap water and only providing bottled water is one sure-fire way to do just that.

And they’re sneaky about it, too!  Perhaps knowing that some patrons are anti-bottled, the waiter will bring the bottle to the table and crack it open as they approach, leaving me no time to cry, “No!  No bottled water!”  And of course there are times I’m incredibly thirsty and need that water, so it’s either bottled or nothing.  If I can hold out until after dinner I do, but given my history of dehydration sometimes it’s a little difficult to do.

Of course, when this situation has happened recently I’ve talked to the restaurant managers, telling them the reasons people prefer tap water and the arguments against bottled water.  They listen politely and I can only hope I’ve helped them to think about this issue in a way that goes beyond the few extra dollars in their pockets.  And it goes without saying that I won’t patronize those restaurants again, and I’ll let the owners know the reason why.

Have you had to make an unexpected eco-decision lately?  How’d it go?

[Image by Dottie Mae via Creative Commons]

Topics: Food, Waste | 2 Comments »

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Comment by Condo Blues
2011-12-28 15:56:07

I can’t remember where I read it, but it was an article on how restaurant soda sales are down because more patrons are asking for water (free) due to the economy. Soda sales are a significant money maker for restaurants. I’m guessing that bottled water is one way they are trying to sneakily recoup that cost.

Comment by Sage
2011-12-28 17:13:17

Ugh, how annoying! Tap water should always be the default. Are we going to say, “I’ll just have water–TAP PLEASE!” every time we order? This is troubling if business owners are switching to bottled water so they can charge customers.

I carry my own reusable water bottle in my purse. I wonder what the waiter would say if I just brought/drank my own water…


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